Republicans continue driving to have the social media app TikTok banned due to its suspected ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Representative Kat Cammack (R-FL) thoroughly interrogated TikTok's CEO Shou Chew during the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
Rep. Cammack begins by asking Chew if TikTok's parent company ByteDance must have a Chinese government official on its board with veto power.
While Chew says no, he speaks of "a very special subsidiary" requiring a Chinese business license.
Next, Rep. Cammack asks why TikTok is required to "downplay" its Chinese origin.
"If there is no threat to our data, privacy, or security; why did an internal memo from TikTok corporate headquarters explicitly coach senior management to quote, 'downplay' the parent company ByteDance? Why would they say 'downplay' the China association and 'downplay AI?'" Cammack asked.
Chew does not immediately answer, prompting Cammack to play a video posted on TikTok 41 days before the hearing, and mentions Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) by name, evidently threatening her, blatantly violates TikTok's standards, yet remains on the app. "This video has been up for 41 days, it is a direct threat to the Chairwoman of this committee, the people of this room, and yet, it still remains on the platform," said Cammack.
"This video has been up for 41 days, it is a direct threat to the Chairwoman of this committee, the people of this room, and yet, it still remains on the platform. And you expect us to believe that you are capable of maintaining the data security, privacy, and security of 150 million Americans when you can't even protect the people in this room?" she inquired.
Moreover, Cammack said this incident was "a blatant display" of how inefficient TikTok's safety standards really are.
"You damn well know that you cannot protect the data and security of this Committee, or the 150 million users of your app, because it is an extension of the CCP," Cammack concluded.
Shortly after votes on Thursday, Cammack spoke to The Floridian where she said, "the cat is out of the bag" when it comes to Tik Tok and what both Democrats and Republicans want to do with it. Cammack believes that a National Data Privacy bill is needed, but reiterated that Tik Tok needed to be banned.